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Weight training beginner, need advice? Watch

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    I just bought a gym membership and i am going to start and take the gym and healthy eating really seriously. Around a year ago i was on and off with using weights in my room, only little dumbbells, nothing serious.

    Anyways i have a basic training program that i would like some advice and help with as i my main goal for the next 6-8 months will be to bulk up.

    Stats: I am currently 5'11, 134lbs and can only bench around a weak 80lbs, 30lbs with dumbbells. I am basically very weak at the minute and would really appreciate some advice in terms of a good routine to gain muscle mass quick as well as good nutritional foods that would maximize results. i understand i am new to this and the routine below may not be the best, but i have done research and i was thinking about this:

    Monday - Chest

    Flat DB Press - 8 reps 3 sets
    Incline Bench Press - 8 reps 3 sets
    Chest fly's - 10 reps 3 sets
    Weighted Push Ups - Failure
    (Maybe a machine exercise also, pec deck?)

    Tuesday - Back

    Barbell Rows - 8 reps 3 sets
    Lat Pulldown - 8 reps 3 sets
    Dumbell Rows - 8 reps 3 sets
    Wide Grip Chin Ups - Failure

    Wednesday - Shoulders

    Dumbbell Shoulder Press - 8 reps 3 sets
    Lateral Raises - 8 reps 3 sets
    Front Raises with plate - 8 reps 3 sets
    Upright Row - 8 reps 3 sets
    Shrugs - 10 reps 3 sets

    Thursday - Legs

    Squats - Not sure on correct sets and reps, never performed one before but know it is essential for a good overall physique.
    Leg Press - 10 reps 3 sets
    Leg Extension - 10 reps 3 sets

    Friday - Arms

    Standing Barbell Bicep Curl - 8 reps 3 sets
    Skull Crushers - 8 reps 3 sets
    Preacher Curls - 8 reps 3 sets
    Hammer Curls - 8 reps 3 sets
    Close Grip Tricep Bench Press - 8 reps 3 sets
    Tricep Pulldown - 10 reps 3 sets
    Pull Ups - Failure

    Weekends - Rest


    Does this sound okay for a beginners routine to build muscle mass?

    I am not sure on what to eat really, i am just going to eat a lot of eggs, pasta, chicken and steak more throughout the day. I also eat porridge and bananas as snacks. I am not bothered about gaining fat as long as i gain decent muscle gains as well.

    Any help would be appreciated, cheers!
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    as far as your programme goes that is fine and when you feel it getting easier add an extra set and increase the weight. i would maybe increase the reps to from 8 to 12 to start with and then decrease the reps as the weight increases. you are right to alternate body areas too as they need a day to rest otherwise they wont get bigger.

    as for diet, it sounds about right but im not the best person to ask. i will say be careful when you say you arent bothered about gaining fat as muscle will build up under the fat but without definition so you will just look fat and you wont get a 6 pack
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    (Original post by mdevil3)
    as far as your programme goes that is fine and when you feel it getting easier add an extra set and increase the weight. i would maybe increase the reps to from 8 to 12 to start with and then decrease the reps as the weight increases. you are right to alternate body areas too as they need a day to rest otherwise they wont get bigger.

    as for diet, it sounds about right but im not the best person to ask. i will say be careful when you say you arent bothered about gaining fat as muscle will build up under the fat but without definition so you will just look fat and you wont get a 6 pack
    thats what cutting is for
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    honestly pal, your over complicating the whole thing.
    stick to compund exercises. bench press, deadlifts etc
    oh don't go near the machines till your big free weights all the way.
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    It will work. You will probably see better progress on a full body routine for the first few months as each bodypart is hit more often.

    Add deadlifts to leg day.
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    Way too much volume and days training.
    There is no need to have a separate day for arms.
    I would try a split based around either Chest/Tri, Back/Bi, Leg/Shoulder or the main compounds ie. squat+assist, dead+assist, bench+assist, press+assist.
    There are many good programs out there, and I would recommend using one of them to start off with rather than trying to make your own.
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    I don't understand why beginners do split their work out for a muscle each day. It isn't going to take a whole week for someone at your stage for their muscles to recover. You are simply better off doing a full body workout with 2-3 exercises for each muscle with at least one day recovery in between. By the way doing all these shoulder exercises your likely to end up injured and injured people don't work out well at all.

    Also, swap pull ups and wide chip ups around. Pull ups are a lot more effective for lats then chin ups.
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    http://www.muscleandstrength.com/wor...ctomorphs.html

    Im going to use this routine, opinions? i have taken into account the compound advice and considering that this routine looks good for skinny beginners.
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    I'm really not liking the Mon-Fri routine tbh. If you're looking to gain mass you should take a rest day between workout days, since this will aid muscle recovery and therefore growth. Other than that, good choice of exercises but switch the days up a little to allow that rest day, so maybe Monday, Wednesday & Friday. Also rather than isolating one area with each day, a more effective way of forcing growth is to work opposing areas in one session. So maybe try merging your Monday & Tuesday workouts into monday, alternating between shoulder and back exercises. So your monday session could look something like this:

    Flat DB Press - 8 reps
    Barbell Rows - 8 reps
    Flat DB Press - 8 reps
    Barbell Rows - 8 reps
    Flat DB Press - 8 reps
    Barbell Rows - 8 reps

    Incline Bench Press - 8 reps
    Lat Pulldown - 8 reps
    Incline Bench Press - 8 reps
    Lat Pulldown - 8 reps

    Weighted Push Ups - Failure
    Wide Grip Chin Ups - Failure

    Obviously feel free to tweek it as you see fit, but the idea would be to do a chest set, followed by a back set, chest, back, chest, back and so on. Then maybe do shoulder and legs on Wednesday, then arms on Friday, alternating between the opposing areas of the arm. Also, it's good to switch up what exercises you do every month or so, so you don't "plateu". Just keep the alternation format in mind.

    Another thing I should add, you see a lot of guys in the gym do a set, then sit there and text on a few mins; don't do that. One of the best ways to force hypertrophy (muscle mass gain) is to take only about 60 seconds rest between sets.

    If you're looking for a good supplement to help you put on muscle I'd recommend looking up Matrix Lean Mass XT on ebay, I've used it on and off for the past year and I get noticeably better gains on it than when I'm not using it. Only 40 quid for a huge ass 6.8kg tub and tastes lovely! Got a LOT of carbs and calories in it, but if you use it first thing in the morning and as a post-workout shake it shouldn't lead to fat gain. Of course also has a good amount of protein.
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    You shouldn't be working out everyday and you should be mixing it up instead of doing the same workout for 3 sets

    Do two body parts in one workout every other day so

    Monday - chest and back
    Wednesday - shoulders and legs
    Friday - arms

    for arms you can do

    Biceps-

    Standing bicep curl (8 reps, 2 sets)
    In and out bicep curl (8 reps, 2 sets)
    One arm concentration curl (8 reps, 2 sets)
    Corkscrew curl (8 reps, 2 sets)

    Triceps-

    Lying down tricep extensions (8 reps, 2 sets)
    Chair dips (max reps, 2 sets)
    One arm tricep kickback (8 reps, 2 sets)

    Forearm-

    Curl up hammer down (8 reps, 1 set
    Hammer curls (8 reps, 2 sets
    In out hammer curls (8 reps, 1 set)
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    (Original post by WoodyMKC)
    Also rather than isolating one area with each day, a more effective way of forcing growth is to work opposing areas in one session.
    Is it? Why?
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    I think it is okay for beginners but i think sit ups are very necessary to turn belly into pack.
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    (Original post by tooosh)
    Is it? Why?
    It was actually my brother, a fitness instructor, who explained it to me and it's all over the internet. I won't go into the whole science about it but long story short, if you're working just your chest for more than half an hour you're likely to fatigue the muscles too much, which not only will limit growth but can also cause injury. So it's best to work 2 groups in one session.
    The reason it's best to choose to work opposing muscle groups instead of doing something like a chest and legs day, is basically to get balanced muscle growth so you don't end up looking disproportionate. If you're the sort of person who feels tired by Friday but refreshed and energised on a Monday, then you'll be putting the same amount of effort into your chest and back exercises by doing them on the same day, rather than going full throttle on, say, your chest and arms on Monday and almost half-assing your back and shoulders on a Friday, and you'll end up with a hunched appearance.
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    (Original post by james04k)
    I think it is okay for beginners but i think sit ups are very necessary to turn belly into pack.
    Not particularly. The muscles are there in everybody but covered in fat. Lose the fat and they will appear by "magic". Plus there are better exercises than situps! If you want to do core exercise, do ones for your obliques because they aren't developed in most people.


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    (Original post by Hypocrism)
    Not particularly. The muscles are there in everybody but covered in fat. Lose the fat and they will appear by "magic". Plus there are better exercises than situps! If you want to do core exercise, do ones for your obliques because they aren't developed in most people.
    Absolutely. Crunches are a hell of a lot more effective than regular situps, but they don't burn fat and if your abs grow underneath the fat, it'll only make a bigger bulge. The only real way to get a 6-pack is a 6 week "cut" i.e. 6 weeks of low carbs, saturated fat & sugar and lots of cardio as well as an abdominal & core workout a couple of times a week.
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    (Original post by WoodyMKC)
    Absolutely. Crunches are a hell of a lot more effective than regular situps, but they don't burn fat and if your abs grow underneath the fat, it'll only make a bigger bulge. The only real way to get a 6-pack is a 6 week "cut" i.e. 6 weeks of low carbs, saturated fat & sugar and lots of cardio as well as an abdominal & core workout a couple of times a week.
    Why this 6-week bull****? Just eat healthily, exercise, and lose weight. Probably including lifting to maintain muscle mass if that's your aim. Don't go low-carb. Eventually it will come off your abdomen and your abs will show.
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    (Original post by Hypocrism)
    Why this 6-week bull****? Just eat healthily, exercise, and lose weight. Probably including lifting to maintain muscle mass if that's your aim. Don't go low-carb. Eventually it will come off your abdomen and your abs will show.
    If you want it to take forever, then fine. But if you want to lose weight then it's essential to burn off more calories than you're eating, hence 6 weeks of low calories (i.e. low carbs) being a good idea.
    For most people trying to gain mass, the only way you're going to keep packing on muscle is a high calorie diet. So the idea is to go on a 6 week cut to lose fat. As long as you still keep lifting weights during this period, you won't lose a noticeable amount of muscle and you'll get that lean look.

    Obviously, it's wise to eat healthily. But for many people, a normal healthy diet won't help them achieve their goal of putting on mass. Hence why a high calorie diet until you've reached a good size and going on a cut is a tried and trusted method of getting the body you've always wanted.

    Once you've reached that desired physique, you can resume a normal, moderate-calorie healthy diet indefinitely. But a normal healthy diet and mass-building unfortunately don't go hand in hand, for most of us.
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    (Original post by WoodyMKC)
    If you want it to take forever, then fine. But if you want to lose weight then it's essential to burn off more calories than you're eating, hence 6 weeks of low calories (i.e. low carbs) being a good idea.
    For most people trying to gain mass, the only way you're going to keep packing on muscle is a high calorie diet. So the idea is to go on a 6 week cut to lose fat. As long as you still keep lifting weights during this period, you won't lose a noticeable amount of muscle and you'll get that lean look.

    Obviously, it's wise to eat healthily. But for many people, a normal healthy diet won't help them achieve their goal of putting on mass. Hence why a high calorie diet until you've reached a good size and going on a cut is a tried and trusted method of getting the body you've always wanted.

    Once you've reached that desired physique, you can resume a normal, moderate-calorie healthy diet indefinitely. But a normal healthy diet and mass-building unfortunately don't go hand in hand, for most of us.
    Low carb diets will lose 'water weight', and you'll just gain it back quickly. You don't lose weight by going on a low-carb diet, it's an unhealthy fad and isn't effective. The only way to lose weight in the long term is to make long term changes in diet and exercise; cutting carbs isn't a long-term strategy.

    The bulk-cut routine of trained athletes is not the same scenario as someone who is chubby and wants to lose weight. The athlete can sensibly cut because they want to lose the excess weight they've gained while on a calorie excess, and they will lose it quickly (since they have gone above their sustained equilibrium weight). They still don't go on low-carb diets. However, cutting doesn't work for the average person who is maintaining their weight, because at this point they are at an equilibrium of gaining and losing weight, and after a short term change will just swing back towards that equilibrium weight. To lose weight you need to change the point of that equilibrium, and dieting won't do that, only lifestyle changes will.
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    (Original post by Hypocrism)
    The bulk-cut routine of trained athletes is not the same scenario as someone who is chubby and wants to lose weight.
    You make some good points, and you're definitely correct about what I've quoted above... but I think you're forgetting that this is a thread about mass gaining and someone raised the point of getting a trim stomach.

    I'm not of course saying you should cut out carbs completely, that'd be unhealthy and ridiculous and it's pretty shocking that some of these fad diets recommend avoiding carbs at all costs.
    But carbs = calories, and if you're cutting then it's essential to keep the calories, and therefore carbs, at a low level in order to lose fat. This is something that athletes, bodybuilders and people on a mass building cycle do. Obviously it should be done properly; when cutting, the amount of carbs you do cut out should be proportionate to your metabolism and the amount you estimate you'll be burning off each day.
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    (Original post by WoodyMKC)
    It was actually my brother, a fitness instructor, who explained it to me and it's all over the internet. I won't go into the whole science about it but long story short, if you're working just your chest for more than half an hour you're likely to fatigue the muscles too much, which not only will limit growth but can also cause injury. So it's best to work 2 groups in one session.
    The reason it's best to choose to work opposing muscle groups instead of doing something like a chest and legs day, is basically to get balanced muscle growth so you don't end up looking disproportionate. If you're the sort of person who feels tired by Friday but refreshed and energised on a Monday, then you'll be putting the same amount of effort into your chest and back exercises by doing them on the same day, rather than going full throttle on, say, your chest and arms on Monday and almost half-assing your back and shoulders on a Friday, and you'll end up with a hunched appearance.
    I didn't mean to question spending too long on a single muscle group. It was about training opposing groups together.
    And fair enough on the latter, I thought you were implying some kind of scientific basis lol. That's a highly individual thing though.
 
 
 
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